I don’t know when the feelings of worthiness or lack thereof are hard wired into the brain, but if you believe what you read that stuff is well and truly cemented by the age of 7.
There are all of these emotionally crippled adults walking around wondering why the fuck they can’t get relationships sorted when in actual fact it’s unlikely it’s anything they’ve done, but more about what they saw, felt and experienced in the hazy years of the memory archive where when you cast back as hard as you can only see a snippet.
You can remember a fleeting moment in the back of a car, with eyes closed. Driving past trees, seeing the pink of your eyelids interspersed with the shadows of the trees making a flesh strobe light….then it’s gone.
Maybe you remember a birthday party, not an entire event, but the Dolly Varden cake or the time you won pass the parcel but when you opened it it was a book you already had and you felt like you’d been duped.
Maybe it was a time you ran too fast and kicked the top off your big toe causing the most excruciating pain which only worsened as you saw the blood well to the surface as your tears spilled on your face.
You don’t remember if the people driving the car were flinging harsh words, or who wasn’t at the party, or who kissed your salty tears….only a handful of frames remain.
Maybe the damage is done in the moments you can’t recall, the blurry bits just outside of your memory’s grip?
There is no denying the teen years are awkward, a few insensitive words in the fierce playground jungle could water the seeds that have already been planted. School is hard, kids are jerks….there are plenty of good times, sure, this is the stuff that adult damage comes from and if you don’t have a rock solid self esteem maybe this is where it breaks?
The twenties are crazy, maybe not for everyone, but those invincible years encourage some crazy choices and maybe they leave a mark, like crossing days off by scratching them into the cell wall, you can chalk another one up…… When do you start to undo the doubts, the fears and the loathing?
How do you start?
My once boyfriend, who later became much more, once said to me that his friend told him it was always better in a relationship if the man loved the woman a little bit more. He asked me what I thought of that.
I knew that we both knew that I loved him more, he had already said that he couldn’t love like I did. A crazy, complete love that encompasses someone, to think of them more than I think of me….my children take that now, or 98% of it.
I didn’t have much experience at all of someone loving me so completely. It was always me, unless they turned out to be stalkers and they loved me to police intervention.
People do love in different ways, some people have quiet and steady love, others have intense and passionate love, I imagine it helps if partners have synchronised love but maybe it’s not 100% necessary for happiness.
Maybe the secret to a good relationship is knowing how to let love in. Allowing someone to love you completely.
When my marriage ended I was pretty damaged. We both were, to be fair.
I felt unlikable, unattractive, unfuckable, unlovable.
But soon someone came along and tried to prove me wrong. Through actions and words and time and being unfailingly present and caring, he tried to prove me wrong. When he said he would even watch a French Arthouse film if I wanted I knew he was the real deal, because I wouldn’t watch Star Wars for him.
Over time I’ve grown to believe I am worthy of great love, we all are.
Everyone deserves to be loved unlike anyone has ever loved them, but you have to allow them to love you.
You have to believe you are loveable.